Obstacle Avoiding Hexapod From Reused Parts


[Rob] built this hexapod one day when he had some free time after work. Just like the last hexapod we saw, he based the build on the Pololu design which uses three servo motors for surprisingly reliable movement.

The hardware is very straight forward. A Dorkboard serves as the brain. It’s a PCB that is wider on each side by the width of one female pin-header than a standard AVR 28-pin microcontroller. This gives easy access to all of the pins on the Arduino chip while making it small and light. You can see that a four-pack of batteries hangs below the servo motors to provide power.

Protruding above the 6-legger is a PING ultrasonic rangefinder. This adds autonomy to the little robot, which you can see running some obstacle avoidance routines in the video after the break. We’ve asked [Rob] if is able to share his code and will update this post if we hear back from him.

Update: Here’s a link to the sketch, and we’ve updated the picture with one that [Rob] sent to us.


11 thoughts on “Obstacle Avoiding Hexapod From Reused Parts

  1. It’s fun to hear it clicking around for a bit but I have had it running for quite a LONG time to see how long the AAAs last. The clicking defeated me before the batteries died.

    1. I use Parallax’s PING quite a bit and have only good things to say. They won’t always see “soft” obstacles but with just two pins (servo and PING) you can sweep back and forth and gather a ton of info for course decisions. I wouldn’t call them fragile either. The one on that hexapod, in addition to all the spraypaint, has been beaten within an inch of its life on the front of an RC monster truck.

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